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[pen-i-tuh ns] /ˈpɛn ɪ təns/

the state of being ; regret for one’s wrongdoing or sinning; contrition; repentance.

c.1200, from Old French penitence (11c.) and directly from Latin paenitentia “repentance,” noun of condition from paenitentum (nominative paenitens) “penitent,” present participle of paenitere “cause or feel regret,” probably originally “is not enough, is unsatisfactory,” from paene “nearby, almost.”


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  • Penitent

    [pen-i-tuh nt] /ˈpɛn ɪ tənt/ adjective 1. feeling or expressing sorrow for sin or wrongdoing and disposed to atonement and amendment; repentant; contrite. noun 2. a penitent person. 3. Roman Catholic Church. a person who confesses sin and submits to a penance. /ˈpɛnɪtənt/ adjective 1. feeling regret for one’s sins; repentant noun 2. a person […]

  • Penitente

    [pen-i-ten-tey, -tee] /ˌpɛn ɪˈtɛn teɪ, -ti/ noun 1. a member of a religious order, chiefly in Spanish-American communities in New Mexico, known for their practice of self-flagellation, especially during Holy Week.

  • Penitential

    [pen-i-ten-shuh l] /ˌpɛn ɪˈtɛn ʃəl/ adjective 1. of, pertaining to, proceeding from, or expressive of or repentance. noun 2. a . 3. a book or code of canons relating to penance, its imposition, etc. /ˌpɛnɪˈtɛnʃəl/ adjective 1. of, showing, or constituting penance noun 2. (mainly RC Church) a book or compilation of instructions for confessors […]

  • Penitential-psalm

    noun 1. any of the Psalms (the 6th, 32nd, 38th, 51st, 102nd, 130th, and 143rd) that give expression to feelings of penitence and that are used in various Christian liturgical services.

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